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  1. #1
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    Advice needed on car seats for trip to San Francisco

    Hi,

    I'm trying to plan a trip for our family to San Francisco and I'm getting stumped on what to do about car seats. My kids are a 4 year old girl (37lb, 39.75 in) and a 6.5 year old boy (50 lb and 50 in). At home they both ride in Britax Frontier 5 point harness. We also own a Combi Cocorro, a backless booster and a Mifold. In the past, the Combi was our go-to travel seat, but my daughter seems like she's just too big for it now. The top of the straps are sneaking lower on her shoulders, and at this point, I wouldn't say they are "at or above the shoulder". But given that she's not 40lbs or 40inches, she's too small for a backless booster of any kind. We'll be renting a car for one leg of the trip (driving from SFO to Menlo park for a day trip) and then spending the rest of the time in the city, where I'm sure we'll want to be able to use Uber or Lyft sporadically. My biggest concern is our configuration for the longer drive to Menlo park, but also thinking about what the kids will do in the uber.

    I'm trying to decide if I:
    -rent some sort of car seat from the rental car company
    -buy a new car seat (what, I don't know?) and bring it with us
    -buy something like the safe rider travel vest (but those are $$$)
    -make due with what we already have, like bring the combi for the long ride and pop her in the backless booster (while my son uses the mifold) in short cab rides.

    Not on the table is bringing the Frontier with us. We're already going to bringing an umbrella stroller and a scooter for the 6 year old, so the giant, heavy car seat will have to stay at home.

    I know there are a lot of experienced parents and car seat techs on this forum. Any thing I'm missing or haven't thought of that is a simple answer to my dilemma? (Like having my daughter gain a few pounds and inches!)

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  3. #2
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    Re: Advice needed on car seats for trip to San Francisco

    Do you know anyone with a scenera next you could borrow for the trip? For your daughter and the mi fold for your son?

    The maestro is also a great travel seat for her size.

  4. #3
    Admin - CPST Instructor wendytthomas's Avatar
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    Re: Advice needed on car seats for trip to San Francisco

    The mifold doesn't offer a consistently safe belt fit, so I would skip that since you don't know how well it'll work.

    She's outgrown the Scenera Next, so I'd skip that.

    RSTVs would be lightweight and easy for them, for sure, and portable for the rental car or Lyft or Uber.

    I would never rent carseats. I did that once, for our very first trip 14+ years ago. They gave me a booster seat for my nine WEEK old.

    Your four year old needs a harnessed seat. If your six year old is booster ready and capable, a backless would be fine. Or the RSTV for both. The four year old with crotch strap and tether, the six year old without (or with, if that's better).

    Wendy
    wendy, cpst-i mom to
    piper, 7/26/02, 62", 108#, seatbelt, driving her own car
    laine 9/16/09, 54", 96#, Nuna Aaces, Diono Solana 2
    in my husband's 2018 Toyota Land Cruiser, my 2017 Volvo XC90, and big sister's 2016 Honda Civic
    https://www.car-seat.org/image.php?type=sigpic&userid=1353&dateline=1552329  785

  5. #4
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    Re: Advice needed on car seats for trip to San Francisco

    Good travel seats for a 4 year old that size include:

    Evenflo Maestro
    Evenflo Sureride
    Harmony Defender
    Graco Wayz/Tranzitions

    What backless booster do you have? Like Wendy said, I wouldn't rely on the Mifold.

  6. #5
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    Re: Advice needed on car seats for trip to San Francisco

    The scenera next goes to 40# and 43in FF, so I stand by my rec. I would probably not buy a next at that age/size, but then again, it might be well worth the $38. It's much smaller and easier to travel with than a Maestro or a Transitions.

    Sent from my MotoG3 using Tapatalk

  7. #6
    Admin - CPST Instructor wendytthomas's Avatar
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    Re: Advice needed on car seats for trip to San Francisco

    The Scenera Next is outgrown forward facing between a 2T and 3T shirt. The top slots are not high enough to accommodate a 43" child. It's outgrown forward facing before rear. That's why it wasn't recommended. It's more about fit to child than size listed on the page.

    Wendy
    wendy, cpst-i mom to
    piper, 7/26/02, 62", 108#, seatbelt, driving her own car
    laine 9/16/09, 54", 96#, Nuna Aaces, Diono Solana 2
    in my husband's 2018 Toyota Land Cruiser, my 2017 Volvo XC90, and big sister's 2016 Honda Civic
    https://www.car-seat.org/image.php?type=sigpic&userid=1353&dateline=1552329  785

  8. #7
    Carseat Crazy
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    Re: Advice needed on car seats for trip to San Francisco

    I think ideally I'd go with an rstv and your backless. On the long ride I'd put the 6 year old int he backless (if he is booster ready and will stay in position) and the 4 year old in the rstv.

    When you uber, I'd do uber family and put the 4 year old in the immigo provided by uber and the 6 year old in the rstv. I just can't imagine a scenario where I'd want to be walking around a city carrying any type of full sized car seat...even a Next.

    If you don't want to be limited to uber family then i'd either purchase a bubble bum or a harmony backless (it's like$12 at walmart) and find a backpack large enough to hold both the booster and the rstv when you are walking around. Then your 4 year old can do the rstv and your 6 year old can ride in the booster.

  9. #8
    Carseat Crazy Cnidaria's Avatar
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    The IMMI Go would also be something to consider, though pricey. It weighs 10 lbs. It's a much bigger pain to carry around than an RSTV, but it's actually a harnessed carseat. And it's much less bulky than something like a SureRide or Maestro. It does *require* a tether anchor to attach the top tether to.
    Mom to tall guy, 6, in a Frontier 90 and Graco Affix
    - - - and small guy (not so small any more!), 3, RFing in a Clek Fllo and Cosco Scenera NEXT

  10. #9
    Carseat Crazy Cnidaria's Avatar
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    I'm pretty sure that San Francisco doesn't have Uber Family/Uber Car Seat, unfortunately.
    Mom to tall guy, 6, in a Frontier 90 and Graco Affix
    - - - and small guy (not so small any more!), 3, RFing in a Clek Fllo and Cosco Scenera NEXT

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